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Reminder to operators of prostitution businesses

Media release 5 May 2004

Reminder to operators of prostitution businesses

The Ministry of Justice is reminding operators of prostitution businesses to make sure they obtain an operator’s certificate before the 28 June 2004 deadline.

“The Prostitution Reform Act requires every operator of a business of prostitution to hold an operator’s certificate from 28 June 2004, says Ministry of Justice Operations and Judicial Support Manager, Fiona Saunders-Francis.

“An operator is a person who, either by themselves or with others, owns, operates, controls, or manages a business, or part of a business, providing or arranging the provision of commercial sexual services. Small owner-operator brothels of not more than four sex workers do not require an operator's certificate.

“To date, the Ministry has received 100 applications and issued 85 operator’s certificates. Four applications have been refused and eleven are still being processed. Although it is difficult to estimate, the Ministry had expected up to 500 applications for operator’s certificates.

“Operators of prostitution businesses have until 28 June 2004 to obtain a certificate. It is important people apply for an operator's certificate soon, to allow sufficient time for applications to be processed before the deadline.

“After 28 June 2004, anyone who is required by the Prostitution Reform Act to hold an operator’s certificate but who does not have one commits an offence. If convicted, the person may be fined up to $10,000 and may be barred from holding an operator’s certificate,” says Fiona Saunders-Francis.

Information about obtaining an operator’s certificate is available from: The Registrar (Prostitution Reform Act), Auckland District Court, Private Bag 92020, Auckland or phone 09 916 9027 Your local District Court Or at: www.justice.govt.nz/plr

ENDS

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